I love the combination of crunchy, chewy and sweet and these little morsels are a one-bite wonder of just that! I would like to tell you that will be fully satisfied by eating just one, but I am here to say; it just isn’t possible to eat one… it might take two, three or six. :)
One neat thing about these is that you can make them in phases. Start by stuffing the cherries with the hazelnuts. Pop them in the dehydrator and once done, store them in a sealed, freezer-safe container… in the freezer for up to a year. Then when the mood or occasion strikes you, remove from the freezer, make your chocolate, dip them, allow to harden and ENJOY!
If you are a true lover of all things chocolate, feel free to dip them in the melted chocolate several times. Just be sure to let the chocolate harden in between dips. This will create a nice thick coating. Personally, I like dipping them just one time because I don’t want to over-power all the other tastes. I want the cherry and the taste of the hazelnut to shine through as well.
Wash / dry, remove the stems ( you can leave the stems on for fun if you wish, I did on a few ) and pits from the cherries.
Stuff a hazelnut into each cherry. Place the stuffed cherry on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator. It is important that the stuffed cherries are dry before placing on the mesh sheet. I pat them with a paper towel. If they are wet going into the dehydrator, the water will bring out the juices in the cherry and create a sticky puddle underneath it.
Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 115 degrees and continue to dry for approximately 24 hours or until dry. Remove and allow them to cool to room temperature.
If making this raw – Prepare the hardening chocolate recipe.
If using store-bought chocolate chips –
Melting in double boiler – Bring the water to a simmer, pour the bag of chocolate chips into your double boiler. Stir constantly, once most of the chocolate chips are melted reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Continue stirring until all of the chocolate is melted. Be careful that you don’t allow any moisture into the pan, this will cause your chocolate to seize. Once melted, turn the heat off and start dipping your cherries.
Dip each dried stuffed cherry into the chocolate, coating it well, tap off the excess chocolate. I use a small fork as a platform to hold the cherry, tap it on the side of the bowl, scrap the bottom the fork with the edge of a spatula and slide the cherry onto the tray with a toothpick. Place on a solid surface (etc. cutting board, tray, teflex sheet, wax paper).
Allow the chocolate to harden.
Store in an airtight container. If your house is warm, store in the fridge or freezer, just be sure that they are well sealed. I kept a jar of them in the cabinet for several weeks and they stayed fresh.
Dip in chocolate and place on parchment paper to dry.